Garlic is a close relative of the onion, and is native to Central Asia. It has been used as a food-flavoring agent for many years, as well as in traditional and alternative medicines. Mankind recognized the curative qualities of this herb over 3,000 years ago. Sir Louis Pasteur, the scientist who discovered , effectively utilized the anti-bacterial qualities of this herb as long as in 1858. A report in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Research suggested that one clove per day may bring a vast improvement in your overall health, while two to three cloves daily could help keep the common cold at bay.
Garlic is an herb very low in calories, saturated fats, and sodium. It contains a number of useful minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron, as well as trace minerals like iodine, sulfur, and chlorine. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, garlic is a rich source of B-vitamins.
Benefits of Raw Garlic
The health benefits of eating raw garlic cloves are explained in greater detail below.
Alleviates Cold and Cough
A 2014 paper published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews cited a study that assessed 146 participants over a three‐month period to ascertain the impact that it had on patients suffering from cold and cough.As part of the study, the total number of participants were divided into two equal groups. One group took a placebo tablet, while the other group took a garlic tablet.
At the end of the study, it was noted that people who took garlic every day for three months instead of a placebo had fewer bouts of cold as compared with the placebo group. Therefore, eating garlic cloves may lessen the severity of common cold and cough symptoms.
Garlic is an herbal ingredient often used for lowering high blood pressure. When exposed to high levels of pressure, a substance in the body known as nitric oxide relaxes the blood vessels and causes them to dilate. It also fights against thrombosis by reducing platelet aggregation.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Raw garlic again, rich in the allicin compound effectively prevents LDL (bad) cholesterol from oxidizing. Some research shows a reduction in cholesterol and triglycerides in rats consuming raw garlic. However, at this point, there is not enough research to say definitively.
Boosts Heart Health
Garlic is thought to have significant cardioprotective properties, which help prevent diseases like atherosclerosis, , thrombosis, , and more. While most reviewed research supports the correlation between garlic intake and cardioprotection, per the Nutrition Journal study, further research is needed to determine proper form and dosage. One should keep a close tab on the proper use of garlic i.e. use of different preparations available, dose, duration and its interaction with generic drugs.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of raw garlic may help prevent future neurodegenerative diseases.
Prevents Heavy Metal Poisoning
High doses of garlic may prevent organ damage caused by heavy metals. The sulfur compounds in this herb drastically reduce lead levels in the blood. Additionally, it also prevents the signs of toxicity, such as headaches and blood pressure. Sulfur also aids in better absorption of iron and zinc in the blood. A 2012 report published in Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology reveals that garlic is effective in reducing blood and tissue lead concentrations among human beings and animals alike. Of course, if you are ever concerned about heavy metal poisoning, it is best to consult a medical professional for a course of action.